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Entries in Drag Queens (41)

Tuesday
Jun032014

Links: Feat. the Totally Awesome 80s

Movie Mezzanine 'History of Film: Best of the Sixties.' They polled lots and lots of film critics including me. And you can see our individual lists. I appear to be the only person who listed West Side Story but some of my other choices are appropriately snooty if you need that.
THR most tweeted tv shows and events. Naturally the Oscars are #1 for specials (Golden Globes in #3 behind the Grammys).  
VF Hollywood celebrates the 25th anniversary of Dead Poets Society (1989) by getting all up in preppy nostalgia

/Film Whaaaaa? The War of the Roses (1989) is getting a sequel. Pity that we can't have Kathleen Turner back but that would be impossible. Unless it's also a supernatural sequel
Serious Film how many of these Eternal Sunshine details have you noticed on your multiple views? 
/bent blog Kyle Turner looks at the roles of mothers in the films of Xavier Dolan
Hero Complex Sigourney Weaver reminisces about her time as Lt. Ellen Ripley in the Aliens franchise
Michigan Live Detroit gets its official RoboCop bronze statue today and RoboCop will also throw the first ball at the Detroit Tigers game tonight.  He's come a long way since his 1987 debut.
Variety The next Woody Allen film (with Joaquin Phoenix - who is really getting around with the auteurs! - and Emma Stone) starts shooting in a couple of months. In Rhode Island. More cast tba very soon.

Stage Door
Can you believe the Tonys are on this weekend? So fast. 
Adam Shankman announces his cast for Hair at the Hollywood Bowl in August. Given the names (Kristen Bell, Benjamin Walker -- yaasss, and various TV stars) I'm guessing they don't do the big 'entire cast gets naked for one song' thing that most productions do.
Boy Culture Crazy story about an audience heckler at a California production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof unfortunately leads to actors departing the show and bad blood with producers. As a regular theatergoer, I would have applauded the actor who left the stage to handle this. An unruly audience member can really ruin a play.

Today's Watch
And this is unexpected but delightful. Bianca Del Rio, the Queen of Mean, wants to star in a feature film comedy about a teacher who is fired for being gay. For revenge he returns to the school as a mean "lady" and gets hired again. Shades of Tootsie only without the you know, Oscarworthy acting or depth.

But still! As a huge fan of Bianca, I approve of this becoming a movie though in truth I was hoping for a sitcom. I guess I should've dreamed bigger. 

Wednesday
May212014

Sashay Away? Bianca, Adore, Courtney

Another May, another round of goodbyes to RuPaul's Drag Race finalists. Bianca Del Rio, one of the best and certainly funniest contestants in the history of RPDR took the crown on Monday night and the onehundredthou$anddolla. Now all three will sashay away...

Or will they?

Click to read more ...

Friday
May162014

We Exist

Always up for movie stars headlining music videos. Here's Andrew Garfield in Arcade Fire's "We Exist"

 

Wednesday
May072014

Drag Race: "What a Way To Go!"

There's so much to say which is perhaps why I never say it.  And why I'll let you say it instead since I gave up trying to write up my thoughts each week (too many thoughts!) COMMENT PARTY! You're invited. Bring your own comments.

Ben's farewell at the Glitter BallAnd the predicted winner is... Adore (love that bitch) though my true heart belongs to Bianca

Ben de la Creme at least understood filling the entire workroom mirror with lipstick brain vomit when he departed last week leaving only four... and then three Monday night (Adore, Bianca, and Courtney) to compete for the crown tiara of America's Next Drag Superstar.  

But what a way to go... and Ben even referenced What a Way To Go! (1964) at one point (though I regret to inform that I couldn't find it to prove it in screencap form) before sashaying away. Which made her exit all the more painful since a queen who can reference old movies and has a grasp of cultural history to draw from beyond current reality tv and Beyoncé (the only two things the lesser queens seem to "get" each season) is always a better queen for it. I still cringe thinking of that old episode where even drag queens didn't know what Grey Gardens (1975) was -- and this was even after the Emmy & Globe winning Jessica Lange and Drew Barry more version in 2009 -- and chastised Jinkx for choosing an "obscure" celebrity to riff on. RuPaul didn't dress them down for it but justice in the end because guess who won the whole season. 

My point is two-fold and as yet unexpressed. See how I can't focus with this show?

1) The last couple of episodes have been curiously muted and I hope the show finds a way to put a little pep back into its step when it goes away again at the finale and

2) there are surely few better films to draw inspiration from if you're a man in a dress than What a Way To Go!. Consider Miss Shirley Maclaine in the Oscar nominated costumes by Moss Mabry and Edith Head in gif form after the jump... if you dare...

 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May032014

Hot Docs '14: In the Spotlight

[Amir, our Canadian correspondent, is reporting from The Hot Docs Film Festival, the biggest documentary festival in North America currently underway in Toronto.]

 One of the tendencies that festival-goers develop over time is finding connecting threads between films that might otherwise be completely unrelated. This unconscious search for umbrella themes, even if unintended by festival programmers, intensifies when you sit down to write about the films. At first glance, there is little connecting three films about aging Belgian transsexuals, Argentinian civilians on camera, and Turkish-American political pundits. Beneath the surface, though, all deal in some way with a desire for self-expression in the spotlight.

Before the Last Curtain Falls follows a group of gay and transsexual performers who get together in the later years of their lives to put on an avant-garde show called Gardenia. When the film begins in the hauntingly beautiful city of Ghent in Belgium, where the performers hail from, the show has already become a massive international success and it is returning home for one final performance after more than 200 outings. Director Thomas Wallner combines interviews with the cast members with footage of the show to paint a portrait of each of them, drawing on their experiences of sexual identity struggle, social oppression and therapeutic theatre work.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr222014

Tribeca: Holla for 'Mala Mala'

Our Tribeca Film Festival coverage continues with Glenn on Mala Mala

Christine Vachon is a national treasure. That is a fact. Without her then it’s highly questionable whether queer cinema would even exist in the somewhat minor capacity that it does. Seeing her name appear in the credits of Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini’s Mala Mala was a refreshing surprise because it’s rare to find documentaries with subject matter like this coming from such a major name, and yet also not at all surprising because the film has a beautiful polish to it that comes from having the resources that a name such as Vachon’s allows. It was also the film’s exceptional good fortune to get a connection to RuPaul’s Drag Race, too, giving the film a pop culture connection that can only help its important subject matter reach a wider audience.

Mala Mala is a documentary that looks at the trans and drag communities of Puerto Rico. Focusing on several key members of the island nation’s community, it proves to be a funny, sad, poignant, and ultimately refreshing experience. I certainly wasn’t aware of Puerto Rico’s sizable community and their struggles and for that the film provides a valuable service. Even better, however, was that the filmmakers didn’t shy away from their subjects’ bad sides with some working as sex workers and others having very strong, unflinching thoughts about what it means to be trans. As a film that chronicles the efforts to get government equality for transgender men and women it proves to be a rousing one, but it is these darker corners that give it the power necessary to possibly become something akin to Paris is Burning for a new generation.

That groundbreaking 1990 documentary by Jennie Livingston lingers over the proceedings of Mala Mala like a vogueing ghost. Featuring former Drag Race contestant April Carrion (the reveal of what would have been her “Snatch Game” persona is a hoot) as she jets off to compete, it’s hard not to think of the Houses of Paris is Burning and the massive steps made in pop culture acceptance of not only gay and drag culture, but LGBTIQ people in general. Mala Mala doesn’t reach the stunning, soaring heights of that earlier film, but the two would make an outdragous double feature.

Even when the film falls into standard doc practices like talking heads, Mala Mala stands out from the documentary crowd. Exceptionally lensed with a vibrant use of color and framing as well as frequently hypnotic imagery, this is one of the most gorgeous docs in some time. The sound work, too, is wonderfully done, full of pulsating music that recreates the evocative sounds and beats of Puerto Rican drag life. This is most certainly not another drably assembled work of non-fiction (like, say, other Tribeca doc titles such as The Newburgh Sting and Regarding Susan Sontag), but an exciting fusion that suggests its debut directors have the smarts to potentially go far. Christine Vachon would be wise to take Sickles and Santini up on their shimmering, almost sensual promise as exhibited in Mala Mala, a vital new film in the constantly evolving landscape of queer cinema.

April Carrion (RuPaul's Drag Race) at the Tribeca premiere